Tiger Woods v. Phil Mickelson: Caddie Steve Williams takes golf rivalry to next level
Rivalry? What rivalry?
In order for one to exist, opponents have to be evenly matched and beat each other’s brains out over a period of time. It helps if their records against each other are about the same.
Phil Mickelson v. Tiger Woods does not qualify under that definition. Not on the course anyway.
It’s much juicier outside the ropes, as witnessed by the latest sniping between the two camps. This time it was done by Woods’ caddie/proxie, Stevie Williams, who expressed his dislike for Mickelson and actually used an expletive to describe him.
Tiger issued a terse, pseudo-apologetic statement. Phil issued a statement and claimed the high road. Blah, blah, blah.
Behind the scenes, it’s much worse than you think. These two teams really don’t like each other. They rarely speak, and when Tiger and Phil are in the same room, you can cut the tension with a 1-iron. Arnie and Jack were bosom buddies compared to these two guys.
Heck, Tiger is probably laughing about it. Stevie, after all, is his master’s pit bull, whether harassing anybody in Woods’ way or throwing an intrusive camera in a lake.
So what’s he going to do to Stevie?
Fine him? Dock him a tournament’s pay? Stevie makes more than most of the players on the PGA Tour. Make him shag range balls? That wouldn’t be punishment, because regardless of what people might think of him, he’s the hardest working caddie out there, and he’d probably enjoy the extra exercise.
How about putting him on a bigger bag? Now that Tiger and Buick have parted ways, he should sign an endorsement deal with Budweiser and put a keg in a bag the size of Rodney Dangerfield’s in CaddyShack.
Going public like this, though, might have its ramifications for Stevie. Woods’ last caddie, Mike “Fluff” Cowan was unceremoniously axed for much less.
I’m giving this round to Phil’s camp. “After seeing Steve Williams’ comments, all I could think of was how lucky I am to have a class act like Bones (Jim MacKay) on my bag and representing me,” Mickelson’s statement read.
The “class act” response always works, and not many saw Stevie Williams as one even before this incident. Short term, it will fade under the media frenzy of Tiger’s return.
Long term, I wonder if a seed might have been planted. Stevie can’t be Tiger’s caddie forever, can he? Woods might soon reach a juncture in his career where a switch might be needed. This won’t be the cause, but it might trigger thought for down the road.
Tiger with a different caddie? I bet we see it at some point.
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But since we're the PC capital of the world where it's ok to think it, you just can't say it publicly, there's the rub.
Where you're wrong--Williams ain't coming off that bag. And the comparison to Fluff--ridiculous. Cowans was making commercials, mouthing off about how much he got payed, doing media interview. You think that's far less than call PM a 'prick'...
I guarantee that no matter how he feels about Mickelson, he is a little upset with Williams for doing this. And I further guarantee that he straightened him out about it.
So now Williams gave an honest opinion/response and some want him fired. The msg, be honest, lose your job?
he should fire Steve out of hand for this. Any other course of action shows some form of tacit approval of this grotesque behavior in contradiction to Tigers mostly deserved gentlemanly image. What would Eldridge Senior do???
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